Will Disney Get Into The Theater Business Via AMC?
AMC seems ripe for the picking, but should Disney take the plunge? YES!
We’ve posted on this idea before, as have many others. However, with AMC stock down below $3.00 and with Disney restructuring, one wonders if the time is right.
Will Disney actually be in the market for a theater chain? Who knows? Should Disney buy AMC?
Rich Duprey of The Motley Fool says The Walt Disney Company should “give it serious consideration.” And I agree.
- CEO Bob Chapek [recently] said, “Managing content creation distinct from distribution will allow us to be more effective and nimble in making the content consumers want most, delivered in the way they prefer to consume it… It also aligns well with Disney acquiring AMC.
- Disney buying at least the U.S. business of AMC would help its ambitious plans for content creation and distribution.
- If Disney bought AMC, it would be able to keep all of the profits from the theater showings and the subsequent streaming opportunities on Disney+ to itself. An acquisition would also provide Disney with massive branding opportunities and give moviegoers a chance to visit a theater offering moviegoers a choice among Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, and Disney classic movies.
- AMC has increasingly been transforming its theaters into a luxury experience, with premium seating, dine-in theaters, IMAX screens, and Dolby sound. Of its 8,000 U.S. screens, almost 3,300, or around 40%, of all its screens are offering this premium format.
Disney: Buy AMC!
Frankly, I love the idea.
Far, far, far from what we understand to be the movie-going experience of the past (where families might spend an entire afternoon together under the silver screen), movie theaters today are not “Cinema Paradiso” or “The Majestic.” Going to an AMC or Regal is not a magical experience.
Do NOT get me wrong. I love the movies. However, you can only go to a theater so many times and be underwhelmed by the seats, the service, and the cinema without internalizing the subpar experience; the disappointment in the greeting, the food counter, and the accouterments.
“Well, at least the movie was good…” But is THAT good enough?
Seriously, where are the old-school lobbies and balconies with clean, well-kempt bathrooms? Where is the Star Wars t-shirt to buy or maybe a poster? Where, pre tell, is the popcorn that doesn’t give you heartburn. Moreover, I am doubling down on this: Most movie popcorn SUCKS.
Disneyfy the Cinemagoing Experience
Meanwhile, this is nothing personal between me and the many, many wonderful folks at the theaters. As undertrained, overworked managers, I am certain you can only do so much with a skeleton crew of school-aged part-timers. However, I do not see why there need to be multiple occasions when the lights remain on when the movie comes on, or the sound is unsynched, or there’s a group of kids throwing food at the screen.
Guys, guys, guys. If I wanted all of that malarky, and a bunch of loud, obnoxious people who get up every five minutes, I would go to a baseball game. Seriously, why not put the Disney service standards in play at AMC. Why not improve the food quality and the queues and the “what-have-you.” Train the kids and the managers and set a high standard for quality.
Stop laughing. I mean it. Just imagine the second best thing to going to a Disney park being going to a Disney theater – in a nearby city or town.
I would HAPPILY pay double to go to a clean, well-run theater with good food and a safe space for my family. Oh, and let me go watch a first-run movie and have a chance to watch a Disney classic on a twin-bill matinee. Or, better yet, how about getting to see a blockbuster in the theater and going home to watch it again on Disney+; this time with a director’s commentary or deleted scenes or an interactive Q & A environment with the cast.
One more time: Imagine movie theaters made better with a little pixie dust!
Finally, give me an ice cream shaped like Mickey; in a popcorn bucket shaped like a droid. And add an usher who shows me to my seat. It would, again, make movie night something special as opposed to a pass time.
Bob(s), buy AMC. ‘Nuff said.